If any of you have been following my journey to Miss Universe Canada, you may remember that last year I was evacuated from Fort McMurray because of the wild fires the very same day that my evening gown was delivered. It was a shock to me and a bit of a heartbreak. I had been searching for that dress for over a year. It took 5 months to make and I was very nervous to get it the day of the evacuation and rushed up to the delivery warehouse to pick it up, only to be declined access to that part of town because of the danger in the area. I really didn’t think I would ever see the dress. I was sure that the warehouse would be gone by the time I was able to come home.
I was shot to find a dress. When I say I searched for a year for the perfect dress, I mean I really searched every day for it. I had the ideal dress in mind for my body type and the areas I wanted the dress to showcase. No gown felt like it could compare with the gown I had chose. But luckily after so many girls in the pageant community reaching out to me to help. I found one that I was confident and comfortable in for last year’s competition. I very randomly messaged Natalie Glebova on Instagram and asked for help in finding a gown., not thinking that someone like her would even have time to respond. In no time at all, she emailed me and found me a sponsor! Like an angel from heaven, I knew why this amazing woman was my role model since 2005. With 2 days until registration, I flew to Toronto to find a dress from Anttoniette Catenacci Haute Couture. Luckily this amazing white Tony Bowls gown was altered by Anttoniette and her team in two days for me to head into competition with a gorgeous gown! Below is an up close pic and my headshot for this year’s competition. I absolutely love that dress!
But fast forward a month and I am back in Fort McMurray! The warehouse has been untouched. If anyone knows me, I rarely cry. But I bawled like I had won the crown when I held my gown in the parking lot. I thought I had lost it and this whole time I felt like it was the gown that was meant for me. Has that ever happened to you? You see something and right away just know that it was made for you! Ladies you probably have this feeling when you tried on your wedding dress or said yes to the right man downt the isle. But for me, that moment happened when I opened a terribly battered shipping box, sitting in my vehicle in an industrial parking lot. You see it’s not all glamour in competing!
I started getting my dress altered in November of 2016. Yes the competition is in October of 2017, but I didn’t know that at the time and I had to be prepared! 11 months seems excessive but not if it pertains to your dream. In those months I spent ages online finding the perfect earrings and bracelet. I can’t show you yet, but to me, it’s just not a necklace kind of gown. I had no luck online or in person shopping. But my father went home to India in February and to my surprise he brought home the perfect bangles! It’s not normal to combine silver and gold, but I’m just drawn to the combo and I feel it works with what I have prepared. And of course the signature tippy top sandal stilleto’s from Chinese Laundry were my obvious choice of shoe.
My earrings were a whole other story!! I had been looking for almost 9 months when I finally found a pair of earrings that worked! I went to Edmonton for what felt like the millionth time! I walked from store to store, making my friend’s feet ache. When finally we found the drop earrings of my dreams! I must say, I hate shopping. The crowds of people, the amount of products that I don’t want to be bothered by, the noise. But when you finally find what you are looking for, it’s like the crowds of people are not in the store with you and the whole world is conspiring to help you!
It’s a beautiful moment when everything comes together finally. I actually sleep better now that I have everything I need for my evening gown. It’s no easy task for most people to put together an every day outfit. But this year’s evening gown look is about 2 years In the making. And I am so ready to work it! You don’t need the most expensive gown, but you need to be confident in it. I am so appreciative of everyone who made last year and this year possible. Without Natalie Glebova, Antoinette Catenacci, the pageant community and the Miss Universe Canada family I would not have made it through last year. I am confident that my dress this year is meant for me! Don’t worry, I will release my full gown photo the day after preliminaries, October 6th. Until then, that was my sneak peek!